December 13, 2009
By April Jones - Omaha Rock Music Examiner
Photo: Susana Capra/AEG Events Examiner

Ringing ears? Laryngitis? Those aren't symptoms of the latest flu virus, just the aftermath of seeing KISS perform Friday night at the Mid America Center.

Council Bluffs (and Omaha, as Paul Stanley noted throughout the show) was the latest stop on the rock band's "Alive 35" tour which coincides with the release of their latest album, Sonic Boom. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, with an average age of 50-something, are living proof of the old saying you're never too old to rock n roll.

Age certainly didn't stop the Starchild from flying above the audience and landing on a platform in the center of the arena. And it definitely didn't stop the Demon from climbing into the rafters and reminding fans just what a musical master and talented showman he is. Classic stunts like drooling blood, spitting fire and dangling that famous tongue drew a reaction from the crowd that was beyond enthusiastic. Tommy Thayer delivered an impressive guitar solo highlighted with celestial footage behind him and projected on the screens above the stage. Lightning fast licks were even more amazing when they were performed with his guitar held over and behind his head. Of course, a rock performance is incomplete without a drum solo and Eric Singer took drumming to new heights, literally, with a performance that lifted him above the stage and lifted fans out of their seats.

With a visually and aurally stunning stage show, the KISS set list included the classics beginning with "Deuce" and "Strutter" and moving on to fan favorites like "Calling Dr. Love" "I Love It Loud" and "Rock and Roll All Nite". Thrown into the mix were new songs "Modern Day Delilah" and "Say Yeah" which involved a bit of audience participation. The inevitable encore packed in just as much power as the main event with "Lick It Up", "Love Gun" and "Detroit Rock City".

But no song was more fitting for the night than "Hotter Than Hell", a perfect description of the temperature inside the MAC thanks to pyrotechnics, fireworks and bursting flames that would have made Dante feel like he was right back in the Inferno.

Soldiers of the KISS Army, both young and old and even a few decked out in full black and silver regalia, were on the frontlines of an unforgettable performance. Once declaring "You wanted the best, you got the best!" KISS continues to deliver on that promise.

For more information: Visit the KISS website. To purchase a live recording of Friday's performance on a USB wristband or two-CD set, visit Concert Online and select the Council Bluffs event. "Sonic Boom" is available exclusively at WalMart.